Josh Barnett on Daniel Cormier: “I See My Experience As Being The Biggest Advantage In This Fight”
By FCF Staff
Tomorrow night, Strikeforce will return to San Jose’s HP Pavilion for the promotion’s “Barnett vs. Cormier” event, which will see Josh Barnett take on Daniel Cormier in the Grand-Prix Heavyweight Finale.
Barnett (31-5) advanced through the tourney by scoring submission wins over Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov, while Cormier (9-0) stepped in as a replacement for Alistair Overeem and knocked out Antonio Silva last September.
In addition, the eight fight card will also feature a bout between lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and former champ Josh Thomson, which will mark the third time the two have fought.
After losing by unanimous decision to Thomson (19-4) in June, 2008, Melendez avenged the defeat in December, 2009, with his own UD victory. Since then, the highly regarded Melendez (20-2) has gone on to win three straight bouts over Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri and most recently Jorge Masvidal.
Here is some of what the card’s headliners had to say about Saturday’s fights at a recent press conference.
On whether or not people are discounting his experience:
“I don’t care what people say. I see my experience as being the biggest advantage in this fight. All that experience comes with all the years of training and all the fights I’ve had and all the different opponents, (basically) all the times I’ve been in the ring as a pro wrestler, as a fighter. Experience is a pretty easy word to throw around. But I don’t think it’s as simple to just say experience. I have to believe ultimately in everything I do and everything I possess. So it’s the same as before and the same that it’s always going to be.”
On whether or not he feels like an underdog:
“Yeah I do. Honestly I do. Josh was a UFC champion and he’s done a ton of things. He’s beaten a lot of guys, but I’ve beaten quite a few of those guys too and I know I can do pretty well against the other ones, so I take it in stride. I should be the underdog because of his experience and his accomplishments, but I’ll be ready to go.”
“After that first fight Josh beat me up pretty good and he helped me reinvent myself as a fighter. Not only did I learn to take the center and be a smarter fighter, not get outpointed, but he helped me learn to take my job seriously. At the time I trained to do my stuff and then after that fight I treated everything like a real professional. I structure my training camps now. I train harder. I eat smart. I write everything out. I treat it like a real profession. It’s my career now. And ever since that loss that’s how it’s been.”
“Not much has changed for me since the second fight. Basically I’m just following a different game plan. The second time I fought I had to come off a 15-month layoff so I was just excited to be back in the cage. Anyone who has seen me fight can tell by the smile on my face that I enjoy to fight. I love it. So not much has changed, but I’m just going to change my game plan.”
Saturday’s event will be broadcast on Showtime beginning at 10:00 PM (ET/ PT – delayed on the West Coast)